The awakening is a turn-of-the-century novel that was published in 1899 by Kate Chopin. The solitary soul was the working title that Chopin used when she was writing the book back in 1897. The novel is referred to as a feminist landmark since it came out in an era where feminism had not found its voice. It was written in the industrial revolution period when women’s movement were about to start. Back in the days the book was considered vulgar and was rejected by many people. The book’s worth was only recognized years later when Chopin lost her life. The novel is a heart-rending realistic story that focuses on a woman’s entrapment in a world that is dominated by men. Being in a patriarchal society, a young America woman is forced to live up …show more content…
She spent most of her childhood life in Mississippi. One time when she visited Grand Isle, she felt dissatisfied with her lifestyle and set off to pursue her happiness and independence when she fell in love with a young man. Edna then rebelled against her culture and traditions after she got exposed to the Creole culture which she perceived as a freer culture. Edna’s children, Etienne, and Raoul are the other characters apart from Madame Lebrun, who owns a lodging on the Isle, Robert Lebrun, her son who falls in love with Edna. Madame Lebrun also had another son named Victor Lebrun. The other characters include Adele Ratignolle, Alphonse Ratignolle (Adele’s husband,) the Farival twins, their grandfather, the dancing girl and Madame Antoine. Madame Antoine is friends with Robert Lebrun. Alcee Arobin admires Edna and is a womanizer. The Pontelliers’ had a servant called Ellen. The novel has many other characters who played important roles in the development of the story (Toth, 445). The narration of the story is in a third-person omniscient point of view, but the author often shows her pity for and sustenance of Edna. The narrator’s tone in most parts of the story is objective and overall grave. Even so, there are moments of happiness and laughter. The tone shows support for women’s unconventionality and demonstrative awareness that Edna …show more content…
She also conflicts with her heart that wants to love and her mind that wants liberation for all. The climax took place when Edna was talking to Robert explaining to him that she was not an object to be passed around, this arose after Robert mentioned something about Mr. Pontellier setting her free. After telling Robert that she is a free person who can give herself to whoever she chooses, Robert leaves Edna because he cannot stand the idea of loving a woman who considers herself having the same privileges as him, a man. He refuses to love a lady who does not want to subordinate herself to men (Azad,
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The novel begins located on Grand Isle, an island resort off the coast of Louisiana, inhabited by the wealthy Creole families throughout the summer. The men go back to the city to work during the week leaving the women and children. While on the island Edna Pontellier meets a man who pays her special attention, named Robert Lebrun. They spend lots of time together, Edna especially enjoys it beings her husband is always too preoccupied with his business. During the time spent, Edna discovers self-wants, interests, and desires.
In nineteenth-century Louisiana, women are only seen as capable of being devoted mothers and obedient wives. In Kate Chopin's, The Awakening, Edna Pontillier and her husband, Leonce Pontillier, travel in the summer to Grand Isle, an island, which is also a Creole society. While spending time on the island, Edna realizes she no longer wants to be restrained by society's expectations of what a woman should be and do. Edna begins to indulge in abnormal behaviors such as neglecting her motherly roles and being disobedient to her husband. She also begins to talk to, and develop an interest in another man, Robert Lebrun, who further pushes her into her pursuit to find a life where she can live as she wants.
Edna broke free from the mold of her society. She was trying to find her purpose and her worth in a world where she did not have many rights or individual stability. Edna Pontellier worked to disregard the influence and power of men and society as a whole to discover more about herself and what she really wanted out of life (Bommarito). She gave up the “unessential” such as her home, possessions, and reputation to do things for
The major theme of The Awakening by Kate Chopin is finding oneself. This theme is shown mostly through Edna Pontellier. Edna’s quest throughout the whole book is to find herself and become independent. Before she chose to try and live her own life, she submitted to being nothing other than a wife and mother. Towards the start of the story she says “Looking at them reminded her of her rings, which she had given to her husband before leaving for the beach.
She finds this escape in Robert. Edna and Robert meet on the Grand Isle; where Edna is vacationing for the summer. Soon after they meet they start an adulterous relationship. The affair with Robert gives Edna a feeling of new-found self and a
At the beginning of the novel, Edna had appeared to be recognizing the fact that her life revolves around her husband and her children, and that it is her main duty to care for them. It is mainly Mr. Pontellier, her husband, who tries to establish an image of her being a both a perfect partner and wife. He views her as an object that must be suitable for the eyes of society. According to him, his wife is a “valuable piece of personal property which has suffered some damage” (Chopin 2). He is controlling over her appearance and actions.
Women during Edna’s time were supposed to be dedicated to their husbands and children, however, Edna yearned for her own independence, and as a result of wanting her own independence Edna knew that she was seen as a terrible person. For instance Edna wanted to “…try to determine what character of a woman I am; for, candidly, I don't know. By all the codes which I am acquainted with, I am a devilishly wicked specimen of the sex. But some way I can't convince myself that I am. I must think about it" (27.4).
This married woman with two children had inadvertently fallen in love with another man. Although he leaves, Robert is the most important part of Edna's awakening. He is the one who gives her the love that her own husband will not. She starts to truly blossom when she falls for Robert. After he leaves, she often goes to Madame Lebrun's home to look at Robert's baby pictures.
Brendan Moxley Mrs. Barton AP Lang & Comp/p.6 28 October 2014 The Awakening Essay Throughout her novel The Awakening, Kate Chopin utilizes clear, picturesque diction to create a independent tone, bold extended metaphors, and varied syntax in order to express the necessity for women to discover and act as themselves at their own discretion despite society’s limiting standards. Chopin employs eloquent, depictive diction in order to create an unconstrained tone, to illustrate the setting, and to further emphasize that women should not be bound by society.
Adele Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz, which were two close friends of Edna, greatly contributed to Edna’s transformation. Edna gained her newfound freedom of expression from Adele and her Creole culture. Adele’s outspokenness and willingness to share affection was a shock to Edna, but time at Grand Isle relaxed the “mantle of reserve that had enveloped her” (Chopin, 14). Adele openly discussed topics that society deems private; thus, Edna found herself opening up and speaking her mind.
Initially, Edna is characterized as independent as she is following the Victorian orders for women which was to move aside her personality and care for her children and husband. At this point Edna has realized that her husband is weighing her down and she tries to find herself by separating herself from her family and home. She finds that she loves Robert after her “awakening” whilst he seems to acknowledge that he is trespassing a line between what he thinks is right and leaves Edna alone to face her awakening. Another theme represented in the book has to do with class and society. Was Edna going on a suicide swim or was it an accident due to the way society has made her believe things should be during this specific era and considering that Leonce was a well known man who traveled immensely and solely depended on Edna to fill her role while he was
If he were to say, ‘Here, Robert, take her and be happy; she is yours,’ I should laugh at the both of you” (108). Throughout the story Edna’s feelings for Robert grow stronger and deeper, so that by the end of the novel she simply longs to be with him. Yet parallel to that growth Edna has discovered her self and developed her own identity. The idea of a transfer of ownership of her person from one man to another is abhorrent to her, so much so that it would cause her to abandon her dream of being with Robert. Though she wants that very much, she is unwilling to lose her own identity in the process as she did when she was with Mr. Pontellier.
During the night after Adéle’s childbirth, Edna lies awake in a state of heartbreak while she thinks persistently about her longing for Robert. However, serving to interrupt these despondent thoughts, “the children appear before her like antagonists who had overcome her, who had overpowered and sought to drag her into the soul’s slavery for the rest of her days.” (Chopin, 124) Edna realizes that, while both Robert and Alcee are fleeting figures in her existence, her children are not so easily removed from her life and responsibility by time. In the end, her children are the lone restraints that hold her captive to society because of her maternal obligations to them, which leaves her with two options, remain in bondage as a mother or flee enslavement through suicide. Moreover, Wyatt elaborates upon this topic when he states, “Edna understands that what is expected is for her to give up her life for her children: society means this figuratively; Edna acts on it literally.”